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EU to send a technical team for visa exemption

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Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik told members of the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee that EU will send a technical team to Turkey for agreement on the proposal for granting a visa exemption. The technical team to be deployed to Ankara will officially discuss the content of the Turkish proposals, which include an amendment on the anti-terror law and the data protection law. The visa liberalization process had to delay because of the problems between Ankara and Brussels. In fact, countries like Germany, Austria and Netherlands have sharpened their position against the Turkish accession, with the new government in Vienna openly calling to end accession talks. The EU minister slammed recent remarks from Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who called on the EU to end accession negations with Turkey. In the meantime, the Turkish EU minister will travel to Paris on April 4 for talks with French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian and France’s EU Minister Nathalie Loiseau in Paris. During the meeting, they will talk about recent developments in Turkey-EU relations, bilateral ties, as well as regional developments. Turkey blasted Macron’s meeting with the YPG delegation at the French presidency last week, as well as his offer to mediate between Ankara and the Syrian Kurdish group. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organization due to its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

The US Ambassador’ speech

in AFRICA/POLITICS by

US Ambassador to Algiers, John Desrocher, delivered a speech on Monday, January 15 at the Diplomatic Institute and International Relations (IDRI), in which he returned to the Algerian-American prospects for the cooperation between the two countries.
“I have the impression that Algeria – its people, its culture, its history – is not well understood in the United States. I would like to try to start changing that. We also want to share America with you, “he said. He clarified Washington’s priorities in his future cooperation with Algiers. “First, we will work to strengthen our bilateral security cooperation to fight terrorism and promote regional stability. Secondly, we want to develop bilateral trade and investment. Finally, we will continue to work with our Algerian partners to foster links between the two peoples and dialogue on topics covering our entire relationship. Of course, diplomatic, political and economic issues are essential, but we also hope to expand our relations in the cultural and educational fields, “he said.

Israeli army imposes partial lockdown on West Bank City

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

The Israeli army took office in the city of Nablus and neighboring villages in the West Bank on Wednesday, establishing roadblocks at all entrances and exits after a terrorist attack in the area led to the killing of an Israeli man on Tuesday night, the rabbi 35-year-old Raziel Shevach. The Israeli defense forces said an armed man opened fire on his car. The army searched the villages in the area overnight in search of the terrorists behind the attack and reinforcements were sent to the area to watch the operations. On Wednesday night, together with the Shin Bet security service and the Israeli police, the IDF arrested 11 Palestinians from the West Bank and the Jordan Valley for their suspected role in other cases of terror and disorder. During one of the arrests in the city of Jericho, the Palestinians set fire to rubbish bins and tires, also threw bricks and stones to the forces leading the army to shoot at the main rioters. The Shin Bet then declared that the “funds of terror” worth thousands of shekels were confiscated.

Egypt: the MENA tour of the US Vice President

in AFRICA/DEFENCE by

Mike Pence, the US Vice President, will visit Egypt next week. This trip is part of the MENA tour that was rescheduled from December because of the US President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pence will travel to Egypt on January 20 to met the President El- Sisi, and then he will visit Jordan and Israel to encounter the King Abdullah and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. The aim of this tour is to discuss the efforts in the fight against terrorism and to improve security.

Algeria: two bunkers for terrorists were discovered

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Two bunkers for terrorists containing sleeping effects were discovered and destroyed Thursday in the wilaya of Batna, while in Tizi Ouzou, three homemade bombs were destroyed.
“As part of the fight against terrorism, and following a raking and search operation, a detachment of the National People’s Army (ANP) discovered and destroyed, on January 4, 2018, two casemates for terrorists containing sleeping effects, in Tifran in the wilaya of Batna, while another detachment destroyed three homemade bombs in Tizi Ouzou, “said the source.

Top US officials to visit Islamabad with tough message from President Trump

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Senior US officials are expected to visit Islamabad at the end of this month and earlier next month amid reports the officials will deliver tough message by President Donald Trump to the Pakistani officials regarding the circumstances surrounding the fight against terrorism. The officials have told AFP that Secretary Tillerson will arrive in Islamabad later this month while Secretary Mattis’s visit is scheduled for the next month. According to the officials, the two senior US officials will deliver the message by President Trump that the alleged Pakistani state support for militant groups has to end. This comes as Pakistani foreign minister Khawajah Asif last week visited Washington amid reports he was invited by Secretary Tillerson for bilateral talks. However, reports indicate that the tensions still remain high between the two nations, mainly due to the safe havens of the terror groups in Pakistan. Secretary Mattis earlier had warned that President Donald Trump is prepared to take whatever actions are necessary if Washington’s efforts fail to work with Pakistan in Afghanistan.

Germany suspending arms exports to Turkey will hurt anti-terror fight, EU Min. Çelik says

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Germany putting arms exports to Turkey on hold will seriously damage fight against anti-terrorism, which will in turn pose threat to Europe’s security, EU Minister Ömer Çelik said Tuesday, shortly after German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Berlin’s decision. Çelik said that Turkey effectively fights terrorist groups to not only protect its own borders, but also Europe’s. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Monday that his country put most arms exports to Turkey on hold amid ongoing tensions between the two countries. Ankara has singled out Germany among European countries for embracing some 250 fugitive diplomats and soldiers accused of involvement in the coup with suspected links to FETÖ.

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